80s Mania heads to Horsham’s Capitol on Friday, June 28, a 1980s multi-tribute concert featuring 25 chart-topping pop icons recreated with live band and dancers.
Vicky Holland-Bowyer, who co-produces it with her partner Greg, is delighted at the success the show has enjoyed over 11 years now.
“I come from a tribute background and Greg comes from a tribute background, and I did and still do an Abba show with Greg.
“One day we were thinking let’s go out. We are entertainers so we are working most weekends, but we both wanted to go out and we wanted to go to an 80s night, but we couldn’t find one. Greg had been in an 80s show before… and so we just decided ‘Let’s make an 80s show!’ We started thinking about songs and we came up with a massive list. There are so many great 80s songs, but we wanted to stay with the New Romantics genre rather than all the cheesy stuff because all the cheesy stuff has been done before. So we put the show together – and we are still doing it in our 11th year.
“We decided that we wanted it to be the biggest 80s tribute show and we decided that we wanted there to be nothing like it.
“We have got three vocal performers, two guys and a girl, and we have got a live band. We have got a female dance troupe as well.
“We wanted to make it all look a bit like Top of the Pops mixed with Live Aid. It is a very fast-changing show. You will get Adam Ant and then while they are changing, you have got something else on the stage.
“Every three to six minutes they are changing. It took a lot of planning, but the show is very slick.
“Everybody knows what they are doing. The music is non-stop. It just keeps on going and going and going. It is like an 80s juke box. When we put it together, we weren’t really sure what people would think, but 11 years later, it is still going!”
Included are tributes to Duran Duran, The Human League, Kim Wilde, Culture Club, Madonna, Wham!, Nena, Toni Basil, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Bananarama, Dead or Alive, Madness and many more.
The show’s success reflects the hard work that goes into it, Vicky feels – but also the sheer quality of the music they are offering.
“It is really authentic. People don’t always know what they are going to get, but within the first few minutes they will have had maybe four really authentic tributes to great songs, and then by the first bar, people are recognising the songs that are coming, the songs from the era, and the excitement just grows and grows.
“People love it. We have been to Norway and Denmark and Sweden and we have got plans to go Germany.”
It was the combination of the music and the fashions that made the decade so special, Vicky believes: “It was so diverse.
“There were so many different genres going on, but the New Romantics era was the big change in the 80s with the synthesisers coming in, and we have got a lot of synthesisers in the show.
“Most of the people that come along are in their 40s to 60s so they are people that remember the 80s at the time, but we are also getting a lot of younger people coming in.
“The 80s are pretty cool with students. And they all love the costumes. There are more than 150 costumes in the show.”
Vicky started out as a performer in the show – and was in it for the first seven years: “But now I am like the understudy. If the girl goes down, then I am back on!”